Browsing Category


15 Healthy Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa is a small but mighty seed. Cook some up in these easy and healthy recipes—we’ve put it in some surprising places.

This small but mighty seed is going to be your new favourite pantry staple. Because it’s flavourless, kids love it and you can use it to make sweet breakfasts or savoury lunches and dinners packed with protein, iron and amino acids. Here are some of our favourite healthy quinoa recipes.

Read More

50 Great Books for Toddlers

Toddlers have an innate sense of the ridiculous, and enjoy repetition, word play, and bold pictures. We’ve rounded up 36 both recent and tried-and-true books that your toddler will adore!

Toddlers are active, curious, busy little people, intensely engaged in learning about the world around them. Books help them make sense of what they see, hear, think, and feel. Still, there’s a vast gap between a one-year-old who’s just started to speak in short sentences, and a three-year-old who can recite the alphabet—possibly backwards. That means that the best books for this diverse group meet them where they are, but also encourage them to stretch their abilities, staying relevant as kids grow.

Read more

14 non-alcoholic drinks made for celebrating

Whether you’re pregnant, sober or just want something special to drink (minus the booze), these tasty wines, spirits and mocktails have you covered.

We giggle at #WineMom memes as much as the next parent, but there’s something to be said about staying sober while still celebrating (Hello, 6 a.m. toddler wake-up calls!). Raise a glass without worry by pouring one of these tasty non-alcoholic drinks.

Read more

8 Underestimated health foods that you need to know

“Superfoods” has always been among the many buzzwords in the health industry. They refer to natural foods packed with nutrients that are believed to have various benefits to our wellness.

You might be familiar with the likes of chia seeds, quinoa, acai berries, moringa and goji berries, just to name a few. We think that it’s only normal for you to jump on the bandwagon and try them out since everyone’s talking about them but don’t you feel that hypes tend to push other ingredients off the radar?

Read more

7 cool ways to commemorate Earth Day with kids in 2021

Every day should be Earth Day, but there’s one special day a year — April 22 — that we call out as an annual reminder to take better care of our planet. It’s the only home we have.

It took a heavily polluted river catching on fire in 1969 to galvanize the American public into action. Nearly 20 million people — 10 percent of the country’s population — took part in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day has grown into the world’s biggest civic event, celebrated by a billion people in more than 190 countries, according to Earth Day Network. What are some activities for Earth Day? Here are free Earth Day activities you can do with your family or your pod to encourage everyone to protect the Earth.

Virtual Earth Day 2021 activities

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Restore our Earth,” and it’s all about reducing our environmental footprint and fixing the damage we’ve already done. Earth Day Network is organizing a three-day event (April 20-22) with virtual workshops, panel discussions and special performances.

Read more

10 Under-the-Radar Ways to Lessen the Chance of Kids Getting Sick – Adults too!

10 Under the Radar Ways to Supercharge a Kid’s Immune System + a Doctor’s Natural Remedy to Kill Coronavirus

Trumbull, Connecticut.  March 16, 2020 – With schools closing “indefinitely” and grocery shelves becoming bare, we all are anxious to see how this plays out and when it will be over. As parents we have a responsibility to keep our kids calm about the situation, keep their immune systems strong, and use preventative ways to kill viruses that our kids come in contact with. Karen Barski, 25 year RN; Reiki Master IIII; Wellness Coach; and Holistic Mom, offers 10 under-the-radar ways to supercharge your kid’s immune system and even a holistic remedy that a doctor claims to kill coronavirus and all other viruses. Best part, adults can use these tips too!

“I’m a mother of five and have kept my kids off antibiotics for 8 years using the below immune-boosting practices that quite frankly are still under the radar and not mainstream – but should be. I even shrunk my own adrenal tumor by half using holistic remedies leaving my doctors in awe. We are true believers and practitioners that the best pharmacy is our very own kitchen…and garden,” says Karen Barski, Founder of Zenergy Center and the Woombie Baby Swaddle.

10 Under-the-Radar Ways to Supercharge the Immune System

For Kids (preschool kids and older)

#1 A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away

Move over apples, smoothies are taking your place. “All kids should have a smoothie right when they wake up – this superfood immunity boost goes right into your cells since your stomach is empty. The body has been sleeping all night and is not digesting any food which means it has more time to do what it should – keep your organs clean, healthy, and functioning at its highest level to prevent sickness and disease,” says Barski.

Here’s a go-to recipe your kids will love (enough for 2-3 people):

1 Cup Organic Frozen Mixed Berries

1 Banana for natural sweetness

2-3 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder (we choose dairy free, plant-based)

2-3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds or Chia/Flax Blend

2-3 big handfuls of greens like kale or spinach (or we like to use Earthbound Organics “Power Greens” from Costco which has a mix of baby spinach, baby kale, and baby swiss chard – 1.5 lbs for under $7!)

1.5 Cups of Water or Almond/Soy/Nut Milk (avoid dairy)

Here’s another “green” smoothie but looks purple so kids love it (2 serving sizes):

1 Whole Lemon peeled (seeds and all!)

1 Tsp of fresh ginger (1/3 size of your thumb)

1 Cup leafy greens (kale or spinach)

1 Cup Coconut Water

¼ Apple

½ Cucumber

1 Small Celery Stalk

½ Cup Frozen Berries

½ Banana (can be frozen too)

#2 Essential Oils

Used for 6000 years, essential oils are a form of alternative medicine using plant extracts to promote health and well being. They can be applied to the skin or used through aromatherapy. Here are some best essential oil tips for kids:

  • Essential oils should be used on kids 3 years and older topically (in a carrier oil like jojoba). Essential oils can even be diffused in infant nursery from birth and beyond but put it on the other side of the room and dilute it a bit more. 

  • It’s worrisome to many when hand sanitizer runs out and cannot be found at any store, but there’s a way to make hand sanitizer at home that is healthier and just as effective. Alcohol-based sanitizers are full of chemicals so “a great homemade sanitizer recipe can be made from 2 oz of Witch Hazel with 20 drops of doTERRA on guard and tea tree oil and if you don’t have that, 20 drops each of Tea tree oil and lavender in the witch hazel will work as well. I just bought little teeny spray bottles for the kids so they can keep it in their pocket instead of the alcohol stuff,” Barski adds.

  • Use a diffuser to mist essential oils with tea tree, lavender and frankincense into the air. “Running in the main area the house (the kitchen or living room) my overall favorite blend is DoTERRA’s On Guard which helps activate the immune system. If your kid has the sniffles, move the diffuser in their bedroom at night,” says Barski.

  • Woombie’s Child Essentials offers three essential oil blends: one is called Relief and is for stuffy noses, Restore for the immune system, and Rest is for a good night’s sleep (which is a big factor in keeping our immune systems strong).

  • Put 3-4 drops of doTERRA On Guard on the soles of your kid’s feet when they are sick (2x daily).

  • Also from Woombie, The Feel Better Bear is an essential oils tool to comfort kids while sick and help them get better.

    The adorable plush bear includes:

    *Aromatherapy pockets in hand areas

    *Tissues or PJs in tummy area (or a fun secret compartment)

    *Name your bear and cuddle away!

    *Child Essential Oils sold separately

    *$34.99 at https://woombie.com/product/feel-better-bear/

#3 Prevent Spreading Germs

Talk to your kids about sneezing / coughing etiquette such as coughing into your elbow/arm and never your hands and throwing away used tissues then immediately washing your hands or using sanitizer (hand washing is best).

When your child comes home from school, a playdate, or anywhere public where they touched things (sat in a seat, shopping cart, etc.) do this routine:

  • Shoes off at the door.
  • Clothes off at the door.
  • Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds – sing the ABCs.
  • Avoid sugar and junk for all snacks – soda is liquid poison. Fresh fruit, veggies, and healthy snacks like chickpea puffs, granola, and trailmix.
  • For adults – take off shoes, wash hands, and wipe down your cell phone as well as your car steering wheel next time you drive. 

#4 Elderberry

Antioxidant-rich Elderberry is a shiny purple berry from the European Elderberry tree and has been used for generations to treat a wide variety of ailments. It’s best known here in the States to help strengthen kids’ immune systems and help fight the flu (studies have proven that it shortens the duration of sick time by 2-3 days).

You can give kids a small daily dose of Elderberry during flu season to boost your child’s immune system as a preventative measure or can be given when your child gets sick.

“There are many ways to take Elderberry, but the easiest for littler kids is to get the concentrated dropper and add to water. I add to my kid’s school water bottle and he drinks it during the day without tasting anything but water; however, it does have a good taste since it’s a berry,” adds Barski.

Always ask your doctor before taking Elderberry since kids with autoimmune disorders should not take it.

#5 Vitamins

“Vitamins and probiotics are important to keep your kiddos strong and healthy. We use the Olly + Probiotic Gummy Vitamins. One a day up to age 4 and then it’s two a day.

“We also give our kids extra Vitamin D – the Vitamin D gummies are great and they also have drops which can be added to water without making it taste different.

“Vitamin C is very important – we like the Vitamin C powder packs. At the first sign of getting sick, mix with water and enjoy. They have Vitamin C chewables too. Our bodies can absorb up to 1000 mg of Vitamin C a day so start in small doses multiple times a day – 250 mg doses for kids,” adds Barski.

#6 “I am…” Statements

“What we think, we are. Our thoughts truly dictate the people, circumstances, and events that happen in our lives based on the science of Quantum Physics – or better put, the Law of Attraction. Setting intentions with “I am…” statements will either elevate you or tank you,” adds Barski.

Right in the morning when you get up and before you go to sleep (as you are drifting off to dreamland) say or think, “I am getting better every second” or “I am getting better every day in every way” or “I am a good health warrior!” or “I have a super strong immune system.” Envision yourself up and about and 100% healthy.

#7 Energy Healing

“Some may think energy healing is a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but it’s actually based on science (quantum physics). As a Reiki IIII Master, the best way to explain energy healing is this:

Our bodies are made up of physical elements such as muscles, bones, organs, nerves, etc., but we also have a flow of energy through our bodies. This is called our life energy or Chi or Qi.  We have energy centers called Chakras that allow the flow of energy and then we have meridians and nadas which are like rivers that carry our life energy through-out our body. When our life energy flow is disrupted or blocked, we tend to get sick as our bodies cannot naturally heal. Stress, fear, worry, doubt, anger, anxiety, etc. can all cause energy blocks.  Reiki restores energy balance and gently and effectively opens blocked meridians, nadas and chakras, and clears the energy bodies leaving a feeling of peace and relaxation. As a result the body can heal and get less sick,” explains Barski.

“If you cannot get to an energy healer in person, there are free distant energy healing videos on Youtube. My friend uses this one video often. She had an abscess tooth and nothing was working – she even had gone to the dentist. She watched the 5 minute healing video and in 20 minutes the pain was gone and this weird blood clot fell out of her mouth. Since it worked for her, she uses the video every time she senses that she may be sick and her 4 year old too. The video heals her 4 year old’s stomach aches within minutes and literally overnight flu symptoms have healed,” shares Barski.

#8 Eat Clean

“We cannot expect our bodies to stay healthy and fight off germs if we are not fueling it properly. It’s like putting diesel gas in a regular car,” adds Barski.

Foods to Build up a Great Immune System:

  • Kiwis are a magical fruit! The golden kiwis have double the vitamin C compared to a green kiwi and are delicious and sweet. One kiwi has almost double the vitamin C as an orange. Eat three golden kiwis and that’s nearly 300 mg of Vitamin C.

  • “Garlic is a superfood! We feed our horses some garlic with their feed and not one bug or fly gets on them. It’s incredible. Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place if eaten often or daily, as well as how long you stay sick. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms,” adds Barski.

    Make sure to talk to your Vet before giving animals garlic.

  • Sauerkraut and non-dairy Kefir  – “While some families prefer Greek yogurt, to get probiotics we eat sauerkraut and non-dairy kefir (since we are dairy-free). These foods help create a healthy gut. When your gut is healthy, your immune system is stronger,” adds Barski.

  • Spinach – This leafy green is packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. It’s the healthiest when cooked as little as possible to retain its nutrients. “Add fresh to salads, healthy superfood bowls, a sandwich or wrap, and add it to pasta dishes and soups at the last moment for a minute so it wilts then serve,” adds Barski.

#9 Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salt draws out toxins from the body. “Depending on your needs there are several that are recommended including Eucalyptus if you have respiratory cold, but I prefer the original Dr. Teals which is the cheapest at Walmart or Amazon.com. 20 minutes max and drink plenty of water afterwards – this is very important,” says Barski.

You can add essential oils like Lavender or tea bags of Chamomile, Valerian, or Lavender tea to help boost the immune system.

#10 Get Movin’

Every day you should get out and walk and/or run around and play with you kids. A Harvard study showed that walking boosts immune function and helps protect you during cold and flu season. Those who walk have 43% fewer sick days compared to those who exercised once a week or less.  SOURCE

“Skip the busy gym to practice social distancing and choose the open air instead. Luckily the weather is becoming warmer so families can enjoy the outdoors. Look up local hiking trails. It’s super fun to explore new trails and be with nature. Pack water and for longer hikes bring some healthy snacks. A picnic is also fun to do,” adds Barski.

For Adults

Follow the same tips as above plus add in:

1. Intermittent Fasting

The last time you eat should be 7PM at night and then the next morning when you wake have two glasses of water (16 ounces to jump start your body – just think, you just went 8 hours with not one sip of water!) and you can have a cup of coffee (almond milk but no sugar), then an hour later have your Super Greens Protein Smoothie just like the kids have. No solid food until noon time so that means you just fasted from solid food for 17 hours giving your body a chance to clean those organs, detox, and get your body working at its optimal state.

2. Turmeric Kills Coronavirus and any other Virus

Although stated there is no science to back this up, Dr. Harish Moorjani gave a very engaging and enlightening speech at a public library about COVID-19 . One of the tips he shared was to sip the following just before you go to bed: ½ teaspoon of turmeric mixed with ¼ cup milk (we suggest swapping this for almond milk, adding a dash of cinnamon which also boosts the immune system, and a tiny bit of honey for sweetness).

His story was quite compelling; as an Infectious Disease Specialist who has been around people with highly contagious viruses he has never once had a sick day from work. He claims that it’s because of his nighttime ritual of sipping turmeric and milk right before bed so it coats your throat and kills any virus.

Source – Dr. Harish Moorjani


10 Tips to Reduce Stress

If you’re a parent and are feeling more stressed than usual, you are certainly not alone. With many kids sitting at home for the summer with not much to do, no place to visit and many parents still working from home, stress is at an all-time high. So, how can mom and dad keep their sanity in these crazy times and reduce all that stress?

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a health and human behavior expert, author of the book ‘Chasing Success’ and founder of the Aligned Performance Institute.

His 10 tips to reduce stress right now:

–        Make time for yourself: Being a parent isn’t easy and is filled with stressful moments. No matter how busy you are between work and family, always make time for yourself. Even just 15 to 20 minutes a day to get quiet and relax can do wonders for your stress level, mental and physical health. Not only will you feel better, you’ll also be better at the things you take on and more aligned in your relationships.

–        Focus on overall wellness: The importance of exercise, eating right and taking care of yourself can’t be said enough, especially for parents who lead busy lives. All of these things have a direct impact on your stress. If you eat right, get plenty of physical activity and just take better care of yourself, your mind and body will thank you. Best of all, you can instill these important values in your kids as they grow up.

–        Don’t let things fester: When problems arise, and they will, take them on quickly and effectively. The problem when we procrastinate and put things off is small issues turn into big issues and this drives our stress levels off the charts. Even if you don’t feel like dealing with something, it’s always better to face it and get it over with rather than keep putting it off and allowing it to bother you and raise your stress. For parents, that might mean planning out specific tasks that have to get done each day. Monday might be laundry day. Tuesday could be food prep day. Wednesday cleaning day. And so on.

–        Focus on proper breathing: The problem with incorrect breathing is it can make you feel even more stressed and worried than you already are. Improper breathing raises CO2 in the body while reducing oxygen consumption which makes us tired, dizzy and anxious. The correct way to breathe is slowly in through the stomach area, hold for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale through the lips. It might take some practice to get used to, but this is definitely something that will significantly reduce your stress.

–        Get out of the house: Right now, many parents are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed during the COVID pandemic because they can’t leave the house. It’s still important to get out each and every day. You can go for a walk, drive around with no destination in mind while you crank up the tunes, visit a friend or family member while practicing social distancing. A change of environment is important to reduce stress.

–        Get the kids involved: Many parents are stressed out right now with kids home for summer with nothing to do. Keep your kids busy with educational activities like reading, give them an allowance for taking on chores around the house, and make sure they have enough time play time each day outdoors. Happy and healthy kids will make your life much easier and reduce your levels of stress.

–        Have something to look forward to: Having something in the future to move toward and look forward to is important to all of us, especially parents who find themselves stressed. Maybe it’s a vacation or road trip six months from now. You can even have something small to look forward to each day like a television show or family dinner. This puts us in a better frame of mind, reduces stress and keeps the “feel-good” chemicals pumping in the brain.

–        Get involved in activities that are inspiring to you. It doesn’t matter what it is, just get involved in any activity that inspires you. When you are feeling inspired and into what you are doing, it’s hard to feel stress. Not only that, but when you are doing something you truly enjoy, your mind is occupied and won’t have time to entertain worry, anxiety and stress.

–        Focus on the outcomes, not the struggles. In almost everything we setout to accomplish, there is stress along the way. This is true even of positive forces in our lives. Instead of becoming stressed by the struggles, stay focused on the outcome. For instance, it’s easy to get flustered when trying to explain a math assignment to your kids. But remember how great it feels when it finally clicks for them and the sense of achievement it gives both you and them.

–        Recognize when you need help: Every parent deals with a certain amount of stress and that is perfectly normal. But sometimes our stress becomes something bigger indicative of an anxiety disorder or something else. When you’ve tried to face things on your own and you aren’t feeling better, it’s time to get professional help. Parents with an insurmountable of stress are doing themselves and their families a favor by getting help.

Would you be interested in speaking to Dr. Trivedi? If so, I’m happy to set it up. Or, feel free to use any of his advice above with attribution.

Read more